Sunday, April 08, 2012

50% Off Murder - Josie Belle

50% Off Murder
A Good Buy Girls Mystery
Josie Belle
Berkley Prime Crime
This is the first installment in a new series starring Maggie Gerber and her circle of friends.  They’re all excited by a sale, a coupon, a deal.  They call themselves the Good Buy Girls and hold meetings to create strategies and plans of attack for the really big sales.  During one such meeting (before the big back-to-school sales) one of their members, Claire, is uncharacteristically late and seems strangely distracted.  Good manners still matter in a small southern town, so no one makes much of it.

Later, Maggie is helping Claire, the assistant librarian, carry books down to the library basement.  When they arrive, they find the body of a man.  Well dressed, but not too lively.  In fact, he’s got a knife in his chest and one of Claire’s personal books next to him.  All evidence points to Claire.  Maggie and the rest of the Good Buy Girls know she couldn’t possibly have done it, so they band together to find the real killer.

Maggie is an interesting character.  Widowed at an early age and with a tiny child, she’s had to make her own way.  She’s done quite well, and now that her child is in college, she enjoys the company of her niece and great-nephew.  There’s a new sheriff in town; a former high school football star who has now returned to his hometown.  The fact that Maggie despises him with an irrational intensity makes it all too clear that the two have a history.  The mystery is interesting, with enough misdirection to keep the reader guessing.  In the end, Maggie makes a couple of personal decisions that should prove fruitful in future volumes.
Rating: 7
April 2012
ISBN# 978-0-425-24702-0 (paperback)


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